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Blind man, 63, bashed in Bundaberg CBD

POLICE INVESTIGATING: Vision-impaired Bundaberg man Graeme Raines, with guide dog Levi, was assaulted on Woongarra St this morning.
POLICE INVESTIGATING: Vision-impaired Bundaberg man Graeme Raines, with guide dog Levi, was assaulted on Woongarra St this morning. Craig Warhurst

A 63-YEAR-OLD blind man has been attacked outside of Bundaberg's ABC office in broad daylight.

About 9.30am today police were called to Woongarra St, Bundaberg, after reports a man with a guide dog had been tackled to the ground and attacked.

Graeme Raines, 63, has only five per cent vision and told the NewsMail the assault came out of nowhere.

Mr Raines said he was crossing the road outside McDonald's when a man with a trolley full of possessions ran into him.

"I went to go around him on the right hand side and he pushed the trolley across and he hit me and I ran into it," Mr Raines said.

"I said to him 'Excuse me, just be a bit more careful'.

"So then I went to go around the left-hand side and he pushed the trolley in front of me again."

Mr Raines said the man with the trolley continued to abuse him as he continued to walk down Woongarra St.

"He was calling me all the names under the sun," the shaken 63-year-old told the NewsMail.

"Then he attacked me and rammed me with the trolley.

"He pushed me to the ground and hit me."

Mr Raines said, as a person with vision impairment, he normally felt safe walking the streets with his dog, Levi.

"If I'd only had my cane it could have been a different story," Mr Raines said.

"People normally walk into me but that's normally by accident.

"It was just lucky the fella didn't kick Levi or it would have been on."

 

POLICE INVESTIGATING: Graeme Raines gives a statement to police inside Zest hair salon where he took refuge after being attacked on Woongarra St this morning.
POLICE INVESTIGATING: Graeme Raines gives a statement to police inside Zest hair salon where he took refuge after being attacked on Woongarra St this morning. Craig Warhurst

Witnesses from nearby shops came running to the aid of Mr Raines.

A couple inside the communication business on the corner of Woongarra and Targo Sts at the time said it was the worst thing they'd ever seen.

Staff at Zest hair salon also saw the incident and took Mr Raines inside while they waited for police.

"I saw it all happen - he was punched and the crazy guys was over him," one hairdresser said.

"I think it's a shame that this innocent blind man was attacked for no reason.

"How will he feel in future when he hears someone yell out?"

Mr Raines said some people didn't realise what it was like to be blind.

"People don't always know the difference between sight and vision," he said.

"Just because I see five per cent doesn't mean I have vision."

He was shaken after the ordeal but said he would try not to let the incident stop him from venturing out on his own in the future.

Police are investigating.

Anyone with information can phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Topics:  assault attack blind bundaberg crime editors picks qps queensland police service vision impaired



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